Management and Sustainable Architecture

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för naturvetenskap, NV

Author: Angela Haug; [2011]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: Sustainable architecture is about meeting the environmental, cultural, social and economical needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to fulfill their own needs. This is quite a complex and challenging task because the architect must consider the impact of these needs through the whole life cycle of the building. The objective of this thesis is to evaluate what the management can do to support and create an environment were the architects can inspire and excel in the complex and challanging task of implementing sustainable solutions in architectural projects. Further to map prohibiting factors that architects working with sustainable architecture meet and describe the whole building chain and what factors are important to support development of sustainable architecture. This thesis investigates in theories of environmental management, knowledge management, change management, psychological and economical aspects of environmental problems. The theories draws among some principal guidelines that the management should aspire to define a new business logic that is rooted in a wider view of human values and ethics, concerning time, quality, cost reduction, distribution and critical staffing issues. Encourage employees to respond emotionally to an issue is a natural and powerful motivation for action. They see, then feel and then change behavior. Encourage employees to spend time in the nature to experience that we are interconnected with the nature and that we are dependent on it. This perspective leads to sustainable behavior that is not based on self-sacrifice or self-denial, but out of a sense of love and common identity. The architectural organizations interviewed describes quite similar aspects but highlights the importance of letting environmental issues be equally important and incorporated with other significant issues, learning by doing and letting the process be flexible, take its time and give room for communication in order to develop naturally. When working with complex sustainable solutions it is important to avoid pre-accepted solutions by understanding the whole picture and thinking on your own. They experience how valuable it is to use successful environmental architecture as inspiration and how counterproductive “bad” environmental architecture is to sustainable development. The management must focus on removing prohibiting factors to relieve and protect the architects from these strains so that they can preserve and use their energy on sustainable development instead. Initiating projects with a broad approach, establishing a broad and qualified network and cooperating and communicate across the whole building chain in the initial stages of the project, supports better and holistic solutions and decrease the costs and time frame of the project. Overall one of the most important factors is to encouraging a feeling of community in the organization. It is central because it provides a work environment where the employees inspire, share knowledge and support each other to strive for good results. Such a work environment equips the organization to be better at facing rapidly changing and complex demands.

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